New York City 5th Avenue, 369th Regiment, Armory
This regiment was initially known as the Negro or Colored Regiment of Infantry, later the Fifteenth Regiment (Harlem Hellfighters) during the World War I, and the 369th Regiment after World War I.
The Fifth Avenue Armory was constructed between the years of 1920-1930. It was designed by Tachau & Vought.
The 369th Regiment Armory is located on the west side of Van Wart & Wein, Fifth Avenue between 142nd and 143rd Streets in Harlem (Manhattan). Industrial buildings, similar in size and scale to the armory, are located to the south and west of the armory and a modern, municipal housing project is located to the southwest. A modern, one-story Organizational Maintenance Shop is located on a separate lot immediately south of the armory; because it does not contribute to the significance of the armory, the garage is excluded from the nomination. A large vacant lot is located to the north of the armory. Harlem River Drive, a divided highway running along the west bank of the Harlem River, is located to the east of the armory.
The armory consists of an Art Deco style administration building (1930-33; designed by Van Wart & Wein) and a medieval-inspired drill shed (1920-24; designed by Tachau & Vought). Both sections are constructed of brick; the administration building is embellished with prominent terra cotta parapets. Fenestration is slightly irregular; the administration building features metal casement windows (which occur singly or in pairs or triplets) and the drill shed features nine-over-nine double-hung sash. Simple brick trim embellishes most window openings throughout both sections of the armory.
The interior survives substantially intact, with a variety of features reflecting the influence of both the Art Deco style and medieval military architecture. The first floor entrance hall and main corridors feature chevron-motif cornices and terrazzo floors with tile borders. Molded meeting room in the southeast (front) corner features parquet floors, walnut paneling, a carved mantel, a plaster frieze with rope moldings and a plaster ceiling. Most walls and ceilings, and wood paneled doors with metal trim. The interior of the drill shed survives substantially intact and features three tiers of balconies on all four sides with a seating capacity of 6-7,000.
The Fifth Avenue (369th Infantry) was added to the Historical Register in June, 1991.
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History